Anonymous $26,000 donation caps off Make-A-Wish day at Keeneland

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The sixth annual Make-A-Wish Day at Keeneland on Thursday concluded with the type of moment that reminds people just how generous the human spirit can be.

Moments after the ninth and final race of the day, a man walked up to the Make-A-Wish Foundation donation table and left everyone speechless.

The anonymous man donated a winning ticket to Make-A-Wish with little fanfare before disappearing into the crowds exiting the track. The winning Pick 4 ticket was worth $26,000, the type of gift the Ohio, Kentucky & Indiana chapter of Make-A-Wish Foundation rarely receives.

The donor divulged only that he was from Marietta, Ga. He asked two Make-A-Wish workers if they could walk with him to one of the betting windows to cash a “big” ticket but gave little indication of the enormity of the gift.

“He said, ‘I don’t want anything from this,’ tapped our shoulders and vanished,” Make-A-Wish’s Jessica Cary said. “He didn’t want anything for it. (The teller) was like, ‘Do you know how much this ticket is worth?’ When she told us, our mouths just dropped.”

Keeneland and local Thoroughbred farms and organizations teamed with Make-A-Wish to grant nine children wishes and give them a VIP experience at the track, including presentation of trophies in the winner’s circle. The partnership continues to help sick children see their dreams become reality.

“Make-A-Wish Day at Keeneland is about the Thoroughbred industry rallying around these kids,” Make-A-Wish Marketing Communications Coordinator Emily Denholm said. “To have such a phenomenal gift like this is just inspiring. It speaks volumes to the courage of our kids, the power of their stories and the power of the wish. This gift is really going to help us grant more wishes. It’s really, really generous to have someone walk up and literally grant several wishes.”

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